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Monday, January 19, 2009

The Musician's Daughter/ The Amaranth Enchantment

I bring mini-reviews because my brain is fried!

The Musician’s Daughter by Susanne Dunlap

Grade: 2 stars out of 5

Summary: “Amid the glamor of Prince Nicholas Esterhazy’s court in 18th-century Vienna, murder is afoot. Or so fifteen-year-old Theresa Maria is convinced when her musician father turns up dead on Christmas Eve, his valuable violin missing, and the only clue to his death a strange gold pendant around his neck. Then her father’s mentor, the acclaimed composer Franz Joseph Haydn, helps her through a difficult time by making her his copyist and giving her insight in to her father’s secret life. It’s there that Theresa begins to uncover a trail of blackmail and extortion, even as she discovers honor—and the possibility of a first, tentative love. Thrumming with the weeping strains of violins, as well as danger and deception, this is an engrossing tale of murder, romance, and music that readers will find hard to forget.”

Overall: I love the way the story had many layers upon it. A layer of music, a layer of mystery, and a layer of unpredictability. It was a fun, puzzling read, great for bed time read. My biggest issue has to be the pace. It was grueling, like a trying to pull yourself out of quicksand only to sink yourself further. Also the details. I know I’m a huge fan of details, but at some point I had to stop and think “What was the plot again?” That is not a good response you want to hear from a reader.

Cover B

The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry (March 1st 2009)

Grade: 2.5 stars out of 5

Summary: “When Lucinda Chapdelaine was a small child, her parents left for the royal ball and never returned. Ever since, Lucinda has been stuck in perpetual servitude at her evil aunt’s jewelry store. Then, on the very same day, a mysterious visitor and an even more bizarre piece of jewelry both enter the shop, setting in motion a string of twists and turns that will forever alter Lucinda’s path. Along the way, she befriends an impish street thief and the dreaded Amaranth Witch, she dances at a royal ball, and she even tries to avenge her parents’ untimely death. But it’s only in the most unusual of circumstances that Lucinda will find her happily ever after.”

Overall: A really big disappointment to say the least. I was expecting something adventurous, exciting, and magical! It was more of a cross between Cinderella and Aladdin from Disney. You have your magical being, the witch or very similar to a fairy godmother, a creature, a goat named Dog. Yes, you read right, Dog. And the thief. I felt as though these two had the most depth in them. Not Lucinda, who at one point in the book I wanted to smack the crap out of her. Sorry for the foul language…Let's not forget the ending as well. The ending, the ending, the ending. It was truly Disneyesque and almost, if not, to be expected. How else will you get the happily ever after?

Cover N/A
I had the ARC with no cover and since I like to judge it based on when it’s in my hands, I decided to skip it this time.

Special thanks to Deb from Bloomsbury for the copies! I'm hoping to revamp this two reviews later on but right now, I'm too tired.


  1. Hmm I thought Musician's Daughter would have been better, how unfortunate :(

  2. Aww...boo hoo. I really hoped that the Musician's Daughter would be better. The cover is gorgeous, and the plot sounds interesting!